Considering the present situation, it wouldn’t be completely wrong to assert that the greenback too, is being subjected to the same destiny as travelers returning from China or other parts of the world where the coronavirus has spread its wings of prey. As an act of precaution, the US Federal Reserve has taken to isolating the physical dollars that deported from Asia prior to recirculating them in the country’s financial channels. According to the statements of a Fed Spokesperson, the regional Fed banks that will be assisting and managing the money supply will keep back the shipments of dollars hailing from Asia for about seven to ten days before reallocating them to the designated financial institutions
As per the official statements of Reuters, the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China has already affected more than 100,000 people in a total of 85 countries around the world. The CDC believes that the transmission of the virus through paper notes is not unnatural because elements that have had direct contact with infected people is one of the primary sources through which germs spread. Owing to all these circumstances, the CDC has advised US residents returning from China and such other countries to be at their homes for at least 14 days before stepping out in the public.
Nevertheless, the World Health Organization is even more petrified about this possibility; to be on the safer side of the spectrum, they have advised people to avoid using physical notes as much as possible and resort to cashless payments whenever the need arises.
The fact that US dollars form the global reserve currency, inevitably makes them the most widely-distributed notes in the world with a net worth of US$1.75 trillion cash in circulation globally in the present-day. However, a major chunk of this cash is doing rounds in the overseas market, especially in Asia where the dollar is stronger than most of their local currency. A study conducted in 2014 by researchers at New York University revealed that there are around 3,000 different types of bacteria embedded in dollar bills simply because of the verity that they frequently change hands.
In order to ensure that there is no scope for the infection to make way into the domains of their country, the US Federal Bank, quite like China and Korea, has turned to disinfecting the local currency notes with ultraviolet rays or destroying the suspicious ones altogether.
There are 12 Fed banks from Virginia, Richmond to San Francisco in charge of managing and streamlining the supply of coins and dollars, receiving credits of excess cash from banks located in every nook and corner of the world, while sending out currencies to countries in need of them. Some of these overseas banks prefer shipping banks the additional dollars to the United States in commercial flights itself. After this, the Reserve Bank starts processing and segregating the notes they receive and this process includes eliminating the bills that have been damaged through circulation and identifying the counterfeits. On average, the Fed dispenses paper notes worth US$34 billion each year and it takes them around 5 to 60 days to filter currency, with the higher value notes administered quicker than the others.
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